IPL's expansion disrupts England and Australia's cricket

The IPL recently sold its media rights for 48,390 rupees, allowing them to become the second biggest sporting league in the world in terms of per-match value.

IPL’s rapid growth has not gone unnoticed. Some former cricket players from England and Australia accused the Indian franchise cricket of ruining their national teams as players began to prioritise it over international matches.

South Africa and the United States of Emirates earlier announced their T20 cricket leagues, which did not help England and Australia, as some of the big players from the latter two nations have started to consider skipping their own countries’ leagues for the tournaments.

Earlier, David Warner said he intended to skip the Big Bash League in favour of the UAE T20 League. Former Australian captain Adam Gilchrist said allowing Warner to abandon the Big Bash would be “commercial suicide” for Cricket Australia.

Last month, South Africa handed a 3-0 ODI walkover to Australia due to the Big Bash series clashing with the former’s new T20 competition.

Sometime later, Ben Stokes exited ODIs, saying that he would play Test cricket for the reputation and T20 for the prize money, while the 50-over format provided neither.

Disruption in cricketing calendar

ICC interim chief executive Geoff Allardice said during an interview with ESPNcricinfo that only one or two new T20 tournaments had been added to the schedule.

“T20 leagues have been part of the cricket calendar for 15 years now. They have gradually been growing, but the number of countries putting on leagues - there have probably only been one or two new ones since the last FTP cycle [which ended in 2018],” Allardice said.

IPL is expanding exponentially, with this year’s calendar adding 14 matches and two weeks breaks to a competition that lasted nine weeks.

The possible schedule clashes with both UAE and South Africa's T20 leagues, with Big Bash League and The Hundred already having raised some criticisms for IPL. There are three teams in the IPL whose owners have teams in the UAE’s ILT20 as well, namely the Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Delhi Capitals.

Meanwhile, some team owners in the IPL have also bought all six teams in the South African T20 league as well. As a result, IPL has been blamed for disrupting the global cricketing calendar.

India legend Sunil Gavaskar recently defended the IPL and team owners, writing in a Sportstar’s column for the critics not to tell them what to do.

“It’s been amusing to read that the Indian Premier League is once again seen as a disruptor of the cricketing calendar of other international teams. The moment the news about the South African T20 league and the UAE T20 league came out, the ‘old powers’ started squirming and got their apologists to have a go at the IPL," Gavaskar wrote.

“By all means, look after your cricket interests but hey please don’t interfere in ours and tell us what to do. We will look after our interests and do it better than what you tell us to do."

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.